After a three-hour drive I am now on my first of two flights. It will take 14 hours of travel start to finish, but I will be with my parents tonight.
Deep breath - exhale. It is finally time to focus on the race.
Here are some pre-race thoughts.
- For past races I have let other people put pressure on me, and I have put a ton of pressure on myself. I have let that go, and it feels REALLY good. Don't get me wrong - I still have a killer drive, I still VERY much want to perform well, I still expect a PR, and I still am going to go out there and give it my ALL. But I am keeping the pressure at a healthy level. I have put in a ton of training and work for this race and I expect it to pay off and plan on making the most of it, however this is not my only race. Whether this race is incredible or disappointing, there will be more. That said, I am planning on incredible, and I am willing to work hard and hurt to make it happen.
- I have reminded myself how much I love running and racing. When there is too much pressure, that takes away from the joy. I do this because I love it. I have goals and dreams I am chasing after, but that is not why I run. I run because I love it.
- One of the things that stresses me out the most with racing is my GI issues. Someone asked in the comments of my previous post if my GI problems were isolated to races or if they bothered me in training too. I deal with the GI issues pretty much every single run. Diet makes it better (or worse) and it is improved since I went gluten-free, but not resolved. I know where every pitstop option is on every route I run. I do have a medication that my doctor gave me that helps which I have only used lately for a few long runs and will use on race day (I don't like the side effects of taking it all the time and it wasn't as effective when I tried taking it daily for more than a week or two.)
Stressing over my GI problems doesn't help a dumb thing, so I am trying not to. It will be what it will be. Later this month I am being seen by one of the very best docs at the Huntsman Cancer Institute when I have another colonoscopy done to treat some aggressive precancerous polyps, and am I hoping they will have some answers and guidance for me.
- Race day weather looks decent. A little on the warm side for me (low of 55, high of 70 for the day) but with a 7:30am start I should be done before it gets too warm. This morning I was running in a fleece hat and gloves though, so even 50's are going to be a bit warm for this girl.
- My training has gone really well and I have every reason to be confident. There were a few rough runs/workouts (on the treadmill), but for the most part, I felt good and hit the paces, especially on my workouts and runs outside. I have worked with Coach Doug for two months now and it is really nice to have found the right fit for me with a coach. He really knows his stuff and I feel confident with him. He has given me an awesome combo of killer workouts and easy days, he has adjusted things as we have gone along, we communicate very well, and he is fun to have as a coach (when he is not trying to kill me). :) His relaxed attitude has been really good for me.
- This cycle I ran my longest long run ever (24 miles) and my longest mileage week ever (107 miles) and I handled both very well and felt really good throughout the training. I stayed free from injury and did not miss any runs or workouts. There is lots to feel good about.
- Of course I would love to run a sub 3:00 marathon in Providence, but I think that is an aggressive goal and it would take everything coming together perfectly, which we all know is a rare gift on marathon day. My solid goal is a 3:0x, and then sub 3:00 in Chicago in October (if it doesn't happen this weekend). My PR is a 3:14 that I ran in February in Tallahassee (although I lost quite a bit of time in that race with bathroom stops) and I definitely plan on bettering that.
- I am grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for ALL of the love and support I get from Josh. He is my #1 everything. :) I am grateful for my parents and my brother that are coming to support me and spend time with me this weekend. I am grateful for Josh's mom for helping out with the kids (especially Noah). I am grateful to get to do this awesome sport that I love. I tell the runners that I coach that they should see their races as a celebration of their hard training, and that is what I am going to do this weekend. Like my awesome sponsor Brooks says, I am going to "Run Happy!"
I probably won't post on here again before the race, but I will post on Facebook and Twitter and will update asap after the race. :) Here are a few quotes I have been holding on to for this race.
"To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain - not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it." - Dr George Sheehan
"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about." - PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian"For me, races are the celebration of my training" - Dan Browne
“I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.”- Vince Lombardi Jr.
"Do the work. Do the analysis. But feel your run. Feel your race. Feel the joy that is running." - Kara Goucher